A group of Syrian women formerly under the ruthless reign of ISIS gained inspiration by watching Kurdish female fighters and decided to pick up arms and enlist in an all-female battalion to take on their former oppressors.
The women have joined the “Women’s protection units” or YPJ, an all-female Kurdish military organization, according to the Al-Bab Military Council, an organization jointly set up by Kurds and Arabs fighting with the United States-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
“When ISIS invaded al Bab city, they detained my brother and killed him. I have been criticizing the practices of ISIS for a long time,” said a member of the newly-established battalion, describing how the invasion by ISIS and family tragedy inspired her to join the battalion and take on the jihadis, Kurdish outlet ARA News reported.
“I have been arrested and tortured several times at the hands of ISIS terrorists. An ISIS female jihadi was responsible for torturing me in a very brutal way. And now I’ve joined the al-Bab Military Council in order to fight those terrorists.” she said
Amhan, another new recruit, said she joined the council in hopes of “liberating our territory from ISIS.”
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) hopes the new unit will deploy soon, most likely in a final push to fully liberate al Bab, a city of approximately 60,000 people, from under Islamic State control.
The al Bab military council was established in August by military commanders of the SDF, following the successful liberating of Manbij from ISIS.
Following the elimination of ISIS from Manbij, more than 50 women also joined the local police force in an apparent effort to ensure the hard-fought freedom for women, once under the brutal reign of ISIS, remains.
The YPJ, or Women’s Protection Units, is a unit of the Kurdish military specifically for women.
Established in 2012, the group has received praise around the world, particularly in stark contrast to the radical Islamic governance imposed by ISIS and its implementation of the strict Sharia (Islamic) law placed on women under its control.
Estimates on the number of women who have enlisted in the all-female units range from 7,000 to over 10,000.